The Oklahoma State Cowboys have not played in two weeks but they continue to climb in the AP poll; checking in at #6 in week 7 of the AP voting. This is the highest that the Pokes have risen in the polls since the week of November 11th in 2015, when the Cowboys were ranked as the fourth-best team in the nation. Mike Gundy and his team will (finally) get back on the field on Saturday when they face the Cyclones of Iowa State in Stillwater in what could be the biggest game (ranking wise) left on the OSU schedule.
Here at Heartland College Sports, we will take you in depth of the AP rankings and let you, the casual fan, see why the ranking is the way it is and possibly call out some strange things we see from the AP registered voters. With that being said, let’s hop right into this week’s rankings and see who is on Mike Gundy’s dart board and who gets free cheese fries at Eskimo Joes the next time they’re in Stillwater.
We will start this week’s deep dive with the famous last words of Julius Caesar “Et tu, Brute?” This week’s highlight will be showcasing the ballot of Don Williams, a writer for the Lubbock-Avalanche Journal. Mr. Williams has been one of the Cowboys most loyal haters in 2020; consistently ranking the Cowboys below what their overall AP ranking eventually becomes. This week, Don looked at all the teams across the country and came to the conclusion that the Oklahoma State Cowboys were the 14th best team in the nation. Seriously. As if the Cowboys’ ranking wasn’t bad enough, let’s take a peek at his ballot and see what 13 teams deserve to be higher than OSU.
Don Williams, in his week 7 ballot, has five schools ahead of the Oklahoma State Cowboys who have not played a game. As much as I despise ranking teams like Oregon ahead of OSU, that’s up to each individual voter and what they deem is responsible. Where the wheels start to fall off the wagon for Williams is 10-13 in his ballot. Don has Texas A&M, Florida, Miami and Iowa State in respective order ahead of OSU at 14. Yes, Don Williams has four teams with one loss immediately in front of the Pokes, including 2 SEC schools. Don, a writer from Lubbock, Texas has the Cyclones ahead of OSU as well, despite the Cyclones losing to ULL in week one and the Cowboys reigning undefeated in 2020.
Maybe if Don Williams was from New Hampshire or Wisconsin I could begin to understand his unwillingness to give the Cowboys their due and rank them in the top 10 like most every other AP voter. But Don is supposed to be a Big 12 guy. This feels a lot like the line I referenced earlier with Julius Caesar. It’s the ones you should trust the most that betray you when it comes to AP voting it appears, as Don has full confidence that the Pokes should actually be the underdog this weekend in Stillwater.
At the end of the day it is simple for Oklahoma State football fans, win the games in front of you and don’t worry about the outside noise or rankings on a given week. If the Pokes are undefeated, they will be playing in the college football playoff. Let the fans worry about the rankings and weird AP votes. It worked last week with AP voter Lauren Brownlow; perhaps Don will have a chance to watch the OSU-ISU game on Saturday and give the Pokes a better ranking should the Cowboys defeat Iowa State.
Whatever way you spin it, this is the biggest week of the season to date for the Pokes; if they can show out on the same day that the Big Ten conference returns to play, maybe they will continue to get the respect they deserve in the polls.
Please do not send any ill-will to Don Williams or any AP voters, this is meant to be a fun article highlighting some discrepancies amongst the AP Top 25 voters.
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